June 24, 2011

On The Journey With You

“Janet, you’ll never have a baby. Your ovaries look like those of a ninety-year-old woman.”

Sitting on the doctor’s exam table, extending my left hand to show him my new engagement ring, I protested in shock, “But I’m engaged!”

“You’ll have to tell your fiance you probably will never have children. If he really loves you, he’ll understand and still want to marry you,” the doctor replied.

This prognosis of my dismal fate of childlessness occurred at my post-op visit following an emergency operation for suspected appendicitis, which actually was a ruptured ovarian cyst. The surgeon on call the night of my surgery was the OB/GYN who now was pronouncing pregnancy a virtual impossibility after seeing my “shriveled up and cyst-covered ovaries that look like those of a ninety year old woman.” I was twenty-one, a college senior, and newly engaged—my world was over. I couldn’t have children — the dream of every little girl who ever played house.

My fiance said his mother was adopted and adoption was a fine solution. I was grateful for his reaction, but secretly held onto the notion that we would have a baby.

In the early years of marriage, it was a relief not worrying about getting pregnant as we both started new careers, but I gazed longingly at the couple next door expecting their first baby. I wondered if my tummy would ever bulge with a new life.

Three years into marriage, like Sarah in the Bible who laughed at the thought of getting pregnant at age ninety, I was laughing at the doctor who said my “ninety-year-old” ovaries would never produce a child. I was pregnant! The Lord’s words to Sarah’s husband, Abraham, echoed in my mind “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” (Genesis 18:14). When I gave birth to my daughter, Kimberly, my mother called her a “little miracle.” I resented her making such a big deal about my unusual pregnancy — I longed to be “normal.” As I grew in my faith, I was able to appreciate God’s mercy and grace of blessing me with the miracle of Kim’s life.

As my “miracle baby” Kim was growing up, she often would pat her tummy and announce, “Someday there’s going to be a baby in there.” I’d smile and nod my head in agreement, while my heart was pleading, Oh, Lord, please let my baby have a baby.

When Kim married, they waited three years to start a family thinking Kim would go off birth control pills and quickly get pregnant — right on schedule. But as the months turned into years, and she didn’t ovulate or have a period, the concern mounted. So began their infertility journey.

Like Kim and me, you have probably pleaded, “Dear God, why can’t I have a baby? as did my daughter, Shannon, and forty-six other mommies and daddies in waiting. We share our stories with you in my new release, Dear God, Why Can’t I Have a Baby? A Companion Guide for Couples on the Infertility Journey. I wrote this book so that we could walk along beside you on your journey with infertility and with God. Our medical issues and resolutions may differ from yours, but you’ll resonate with our hearts.

Janet Thompson is founder of Woman to Woman Mentoring and About His Work Ministries. Sharing life’s experiences and God’s faithfulness is the premise of Janet’s fourteen books and speaking topics. Janet and her husband Dave live in Idaho and are Grammie and Grampa to eleven beautiful grandchildren.
Excerpts from Dear God, Why Can’t I Have a Baby? A Companion Guide for Couples on the Infertility Journey